San Sebastián Travel Guide

  • La Concha
    La Concha
    by mikey_e
  • Lights reflecting off the La Concha bay
    Lights reflecting off the La Concha bay
    by dirtypierreontour
  • San Sebastián
    by myriam_c

San Sebastián Highlights

  • Pro
    bushes39 profile photo

    bushes39 says…

     Small enough that you can't get dangerously lost but big enough to have a month's worth of fun. 

  • Con
    carlitoab profile photo

    carlitoab says…

     Can be expensive - I heard it's the 2nd most expensive city in Spain 

  • In a nutshell
    twood1 profile photo

    twood1 says…

     Eat, lounge, and tan in a charming old city. 

San Sebastián Things to Do

  • San Sebastion [ Donostia ]

    San Sebastion or Donostia has it is known locally is a lovely place around a small bay and river. San Sebastion is served by the narrow gauge Euskotren railway along the north coast of Spain. and there is the RENFE main line trains to places like Madrid and Segovia. Their stations are in seperate parts of town.

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  • More views from Mont Urgull.

    The Santa Clara island sitting in the middle of the bay has a beach that can be reached by a small ferry. At the equinox tides in March and September it can even be reached on foot. It was also used by the city in the 16th century for victims of the plague that was ravaging the population. Other views are over the sea and around the bay of La...

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  • Mont Urgull.

    Fortified from the 12th century to protect its trade and fishing industry Mont Urgull, the original small castle built by Sancho of Navarre, was further strengthened in 1530 and more walls added. The castle was taken in the early 1700's by the British but surrendered in 1794 to the French, who stayed there right through the Napoleonic wars until...

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San Sebastián Hotels

San Sebastián Restaurants

  • Beautiful balance of creativity and...

    This might be the best meal I have ever had. The setting (make sure you ask to sit by the window), service, and food were absolutely amazing. The restaurant is about a 10min cab from San Sebastian going up the mountain. The restaurant is situated on top of the mountain looking onto the sea: breathtaking. My girlfriend and I went for lunch, each...

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  • Simple pintxos behind Playa de la...

    In the autumn of 2012, I read an article in which the British consumer magazine "Which?" had conducted extensive research to identify the world's best city for eating out. Based on their findings, they concluded that San Sebastian was the best city in the world for foodies!This conclusion was based not only on the fact that the city apparently had...

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  • Breakfast baguettes near the town hall

    In the autumn of 2012, I read an article in which the British consumer magazine "Which?" had conducted extensive research to identify the world's best city for eating out. Based on their findings, they concluded that San Sebastian was the best city in the world for foodies!This conclusion was based not only on the fact that the city apparently had...

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San Sebastián Nightlife

  • Nightclubs

    With a balcony overlooking the beach "La Concha," this nightspot is usually open till 5am, the latest of any of Donostia's nightclubs. Drinks are expensive so I suggest you drink before you go! Casual, sometimes nights are themed.

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  • Nooks everywhere

    For all that people who like smoke up you easily find places to do that...here closer to the "Fronton" and behind the huge church there are several places to do it and without the indiscreet police visit

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  • You do not need chairs

    This is one of my favourite bars. It's located close to the port. You can go there in the evening or in the night. The bar is very small, but it has good beers. I think its charm is you can stay outdoor, in the stairs to Urgull Mountain, speaking with friends or foreginers, and drinking, smoking and listening music.Also, you are very near to the...

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San Sebastián Transportation

  • Euskotren

    The Euskotren runs from over the border in Hendaya France to Irun Spain and San Sebastion and along the north coast of Spain to Bilbao etc. Sometimes the train called Metro.

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  • Buses to/from Bilbao

    We undertook a day trip from Bilbao to San Sebastian (Donostia) during our visit to the Basque Country in December 2012.The two cities are a little over an hour apart by road and are connected by regular buses throughout the day.The following details were correct at the time of our visit. Buses were operating on a timetable that ran from 1...

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  • Buses to San Sebastian (Donostia)

    Getting to San Sebastian / Donostia is a snap by bus. The buses are comfortable and those working at the bus station and the drivers are pretty good about helping with times. The ticket office in San Sebastian is around the corner from the bus parking area. Also, many people refer to San Sebastian using the Basque name of Donostia. The only...

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San Sebastián Shopping

  • Grocery Store and More

    At the ground level there are pastry, fruit, meat, etc. shops where the foods look great. Below is a general supermarket with everything you need,

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  • A typical city boearding the ocean...

    As long as you're a woman, you may find everything that you need in San Sebastian, as your main shops (Mango, Zara, Benetton) have an outlet here... The same price than in France, meaning... the price !

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  • San Sebastián Hotels

    116 Hotels in San Sebastián

    389 Reviews and Opinions

San Sebastián Local Customs

  • Tapas on the Bar

    One of the most pleasurable aspects of visiting San Sebastian is the myriad of bars and restos selling tapas (also knowns as pintxos) right off of the bar (they are on plates). Every tapas bar I have had the pleasure to have met was friendly and had some great individual tapas. This spread is fairly typical... A pork loin roll, anchovies on toast...

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  • Eating Pintxos in the Old Town

    San Sebastian is famous for its extra-delicious tapas which are called pintxos here. You can't walk through the old town without coming across the mouth-watering smell of pintxos such as doughballs filled with meat, vegetables or seafood, slices of baguette with bacon and sausage, seafood and salad, sardines, yummy cheese and so on and so forth....

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  • Street Tiles

    One of the benefits of building a new extension to the city according to a preconceived plan is that you can correct mistakes and inconvenient features of the old city. In general, Spanish planners building Ensanches tried to make them easy to navigate by putting them on a rigid grid system. Barcelona’s eixample is a good example of this....

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San Sebastián Warnings and Dangers

  • Even the toilets have a siesta!!!!

    Doesn't matter where you are in the world, taking snaps of loos can get a photographer into trouble and joins the list of taboo places to photo - like military establishments, government installations and Sheiks palaces, but then again there must be loos in those places too.Seems that most of Spain shuts down for siesta - well after all the late...

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  • Another year with bi waves

    If you park the car at the 'Paseo Berria-Paseo Nuevo', you have to be sure that the weather in the sea is good. Nowadays, when there are big waves the local police do not allow passing to the Paseo Berria by car. But it is really dificult to park the car in Donostia....

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  • attacks on buildings

    You might see buildings splattered in red and yellow paint whilst walking around town. I was in close proximity to an attack and whilst I didn't feel personally threatened be aware that it does happen. I presume it was the work of ETA.

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San Sebastián Tourist Traps

  • lolitajane's Profile Photo
    Getting soaked!

    by lolitajane Written Dec 2, 2002

    Weather is definitely a tourist trap in San Sebastian. It can ruin your day, as it did with our stay.
    I've heard that it can rain a whole week --and the difference with London is that at least you get some sunshine there, but not in SS!!!

    Unique Suggestions: Just carry an umbrella & rain coat & don't let the rain turn you into bad mood (as it happened to me!)

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San Sebastián What to Pack

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    RUNNING AWAY FROM WAVES IN 'PASEO NUEVO'

    by lutxu Written Jun 20, 2005

    Luggage and bags: IN THE BASQUE COUNTRY, IN WINTER TIME, THE TEMPERATURE RANGE IS AROUND 3-9ºCELSIUS, BUT I ADMIT IT RAINS PRETTY MUCH (THAT'S THE REASON FOR HAVING SUCH A GREEN COUNTRY), SO BETTER BRING AN UMBRELLA. IN SUMMERTIME TEMPS GO FROM 22 TO 35ºC, DEPENDING ON THE MONTH, SO THE BEST IS NOT TOO MANY CLOTHES AND A BATHING SUIT TO GO TO THE BEACH.

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San Sebastián Off The Beaten Path

  • Gros

    The Gros neighbourhood is the newer, more commercially oriented one that you enter if you cross the Urumea by the Zurriola Bridge. In effect, if you go the Kursaal, you will find yourself in Gros. It is not exactly a charming part of the city, especially if you consider it against Antiguo, Parte Vieja or Centro, but it is not exactly run-down,...

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  • Plaza de Bilbao

    The Plaza de Bilbao is another one of those well-planned additions to the Ensanche Cortazar. It is a wide, circular plaza with a massive fountain in the centre. It is also one of the sights you’re likely to see when you first arrive if you come by train, as it is right across the Puente Maria Cristina from the Estación del Norte. I don’t know that...

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  • Centro Cultural Koldo Mitxelena

    Centro Cultural Koldo Mitxelena is a free cultural centre right across from the Catedral del Buen Pastor. Actually, it is a good idea to plan to visit these two sites at the same time, if both of them interest you. The Cultural Centre has a number of installations, including a library and exhibition room, and I believe that the mission of the...

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San Sebastián Sports & Outdoors

  • Surfing in San Sebastian

    One of the preferred spots for surfing in San Sebastiàn is the beach called Ondaretta (see my other tip). Here you can also find a school.Another good spot is located at the mouth of the river.

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  • Surf's up!

    Just North of La Concha Bay, there is a less sheltered bay. During the summer there was a surf and some surfers doing their surf thing. Even in Malibu we have flat days.

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  • Real Sociedad

    The most popular sport in Donostia is, of course, footbal. In every coffee bar, shop, restaurant... we saw some picture of Real Sociedad Football Club which is from Donostia. Darko Kovacevic, Serbian, is one of the best player in Real.

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San Sebastián Favorites

  • San Sebastián Tourist Office

    CATC/ Reina Regente, 320003 San Sebastián - DonostiaTelef: +34 943 48 11 66Fax: +34 943 48 11 72email: cat@donostia.orgwww.sansebastianturismo.comor Pagina del CATA smaller office, in a container near Renfe train station.

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  • Early bird catches the worm.....

    There are a few good reasons why you should go early, if you are heading to the tapas bars -- first off, you have better selections, secondly, the baguette might get soggy after sitting there for a few hours, and most importantly, you do not want to see someone sneeze a foot in front of all those mouth watering tapas.

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  • La Cocha 2

    Low tide 100m away from the sand its amazing how the sea lessen and you can see the bottom, people looking for shellfish and the water smashing the rocks in front of Peine de los vientos

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Comments

 
Explore Deeper into San Sebastián
Another good restaurant...
Restaurants
Good food here too...
Restaurants
Excellent tapas
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Good lunch here too...
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A few doors down from Bar Martinez...
Restaurants
I had a good lunch here!
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One of the best...
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Nice restaurant with a panoramic view of SS!
Restaurants
Good seafood here... but expensive
Restaurants
Santa Maria del Coro church.
Things to Do
Take a walk in town.
Things to Do
La Conche
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Cafe Bar - Across from Bus Ticket Office
Restaurants
Great 3 star food
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San Telmo Museum
Things to Do
Kursaal
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Pinchos or tapas mania
Restaurants
Great Food /handiko elikadura
Restaurants
La Bretxa
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Ensanche Cortazar
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Plaza de Guipuzcoa
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Naval Museum
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Park near Udaletxe
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Calle de Zubieta
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Iglesia San Vicente
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Puente Maria Cristina
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Santa Klarako Uhartea
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La Concha
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Udaletxea
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Parte Vieja
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Askatasunaren hiribidea
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Konstituzioko plaza
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Paseo Nuevo
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Basílica Santa María
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El Muelle
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Hotel Maria Cristina
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Teatro Victoria Eugenia
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El Kursaal
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La Catedral del Buen Pastor
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Museo de San Telmo
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Map of San Sebastián

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